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Saint Gregory Palamas on Islam compiled by Holy Apostles Convent

Saint Gregory Palamas on Islam compiled by Holy Apostles Convent

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Excerpt from: 'The Lives of the Pillars of Orthodoxy' - Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica.

Holy Apostles Convent, Buena Vista, Colorado
Excerpt from: 'The Lives of the Pillars of Orthodoxy' - Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica.

Holy Apostles Convent, Buena Vista, Colorado

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Published by: YaHaqq on Jun 13, 2010
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A ah (God) AIIah (God


Monogram ofJesus Christ

CAPTIVITY An imperial warship was placed at the hierarch's disposal sail him to Tenedos await further instructions to to from Paleologos.The holy manwasthenmadeto wait until after the earthquake March 2, 1354. The saint then of resumed hisjourney,but wasforcedby unfavorable windsto land nearCallipolis(Gallipoli),the seaport the entrance at to the Sea of Marmara. Now the Turks had already taken posrssionof the fortress TzympenearCallipolisin 1352. of Much to the Archbishop's surprise, account the terrible on of earthquake, whichdrovetheByzantines from thedistrict, the Turk Orkhan's son, Suleiman,now occupiedCallipolis.aT6 The Archbishop takeninto custody was immediately uponhis arrival. The God of the universe,however,was pleased to haveHis servantmingleamongthe Ishmaelites (Ottomans), thathe mightrevealOrthodoxy them. However,therewas to anotherreason also. God wishedto providethe captiveOrthodoxChristians with Gregory,the springthat flows with watersof healingfor the faithful, so he might preachthe Faith, therebysustaining them throughhis teaching.a?? On March 10, 1354,the Turks took the Archbishop and all his suite as prisoners. This included the two priest-monks, Josephand Gerasimos,the chanophylax, and a certain constascalamares.4Tt Although St. Gregory recognized Turks as the the mostbarbarous thebarbarians, regarded captivityas of he his providential, for he desiredto reveal the Gospel to his


captors. Although the Archbishop not desirethe Turks did to occupyOrthodoxland, nevertheless, did not consioer he the Moslemvictory as an end to the history of Orthodoxy. He commented, "This impiouspeopleboastof their victory over the Rom(the Byzantines), attributingit to their love of God. This is because theydo not understand this wortd that below dwells in sin, and that evil men possess greater the partof it...thatis why, downto thetimeof Constantine...the idolaters have almost always held power over the world."a7e Underno circumstances would Gregory,the pride of Thessalonica, willing to sacrificeor make the slightest be compromise Orthodoxyfor salvaging empire. Morein the over, at the beginning the occupation, Turks, usually of the displayed a degree of tolerancetowards their Orthodox subjects. At the sametime, St. Sawasof Vatopediwas to comment uponthe sharpcontrast thepersecution which of to the Orthodoxwere subjected by the latins on Cyprus.asn to THE SAINT'S MISSIONARY PRFOCCUPATIONS As a hostage, saintwasto remainin captivityfor the year. The Archbishop a whole wentfrom handto hand,and from town to town. Thus, was Cod's will fulfilled thar, Gregory,as an apostle,would passthroughand preachthe Gospel,and thus confirm the Orthodox. He strengthened thosein theabyss doubtandexplained mysteries the of the of wisdom of God [1 Cor. 2:71, regarding salvationthat was difficult for themto undersland. The saintalsoencountered manyMoslems and apostates, defended Faith before and the them. Beforehereticshe would proclaim, in an Orthodox manner,aboutthe incarnation Christ and the life-giving of Crossof Christ. He also spokeaboutthe sacred icons and their proper veneration. Thus, he brought the Gospelof Christto unbelievers offeredconsolation theenslaved and to Orthodox. He persuaded Orthodoxto bear the crossof the

suffering without murmuring and to hope for heavenly -and rewards.a8l crowns This saint'scaptivity gave ammunitionto his rival, NicephorosGregoras,who evenwent so far as to say that the were insultsto which the hierarchwas now being subjected using pastsupport Cantacuzene of for a divinepunishment his Turkish troops.a82 Gregory, however, always maintaineda positive attitude. With his colleagues,under a light guard' he allowed the from town to town' Fortunately' guards traveled in them to dwell with fellow-Christians the towns through in joumeysushered which they passed. However,frequent the andprivation. After thrcemonths, routethey discomfort andthenthecity I:mpsacus, broughtthemthrough traversed where they were permitted associationwith the of Peges, Christians thatChurch. of At Prusa Prusahad fallen to the Turks in 1326. While still in St. of the hands the lawless, Gregorywrote that, in June,on a Thursday,they enteredPrusa. Upon arrival the distinthat assembled they might havea discusguished Christians with the holy hierarch. They had a splendidand iion suredifying talk, but were cut short when the barbarians the round.d their gathering,and dispersed assembly. Alprematurely, Christhe thoughthe meetinghad beenhalted g.^uJst spoke that their unexpected tianJof Prusastill believed to hear."o' to themof thosethingsthat they needed Gregory thenrecordsthat after two dayshis company Prusa. On Monday,they arrived in a hilly region departed the with thick trees. He describes area and the weather, observingthat a wind blew throughthat areaaboutthe mountime air' up, taintops.Cold watergushed chilling theharvest grazing' It wasa placewhich the Turks usedfor It was still Juneof 1354when St. Gregoryand his of companywere takento the summerresidence the Emir


Jou{_,.t'9i. ly. Wishing learnthereason htr;;; to for i;;;:ffi"" asked holy Gregory an explanation. the for We learnfrom a letteroi the saintthat he gave defense that was satisfactory his listeners. ffE- a to alo, however, comment, one "If does believe words the not the of Teacher (Christ),it is not possible him for to il' ;"" asTeacher."Ishmailthenoia, ;O" y" f""" Jgacfr lr* (thatis how the Moslems Jesus), cal \td16';;;, crucified?"'. The saintthenanswered positluety'anJ, a in
'Moslems believe thatJudaism a materialist was religion: Jesus was s€nt to redressthe situation: He s

this opportuniiy .r -"-'--' to speak the subject almsgiving.at+ on of Ishmael then asked the hierarch if _ he practiced almsgiving. The saint answered that, in truth, ai,rgi"i"g was the productof love for the true God, _J iiruii'r,""rnr." one lovesGod the moreone is merciful.i Ishmaelthen askedthe hierarchif he . accepted and prophet

his.assignmen;;;;;;;"y. lii:j:'l_-llt ot grace.Gregory,then.took l" r"l, was ne preacner_

fruit while they atediiferent m€ats_As they were eating,the saintwas u.t"a tn" .."*n why he never ate meat. As he was givint tir-_**, another Moslemcameto join their partyira gir" ,f,, ..r"" for tris tardiness. Lxplain.O'tt tt ?**""-# r,i, ra-teress that he _He was "i " hadjust finisheddistributingsomearms

met grandson, jhey his rshmael. Sitting upon "O^1P1,^yn:*. of 1 f9wottoman glesence chiefi they :::li:r'f eat. 1le hierarch oeganto l" The ate

difficulty in underhe brief discourse, solvedthe seeming of by standing, speaking the voluntaryand gloriousPassion of dispassion the Godhead. and the Ishmaelthenaskedthe hierarch,"And how is it that the vou venerate wood of the Cross?" Again, the hierarch explainingthat the Cross was the madea concisedefense of symbolof the troPhY Christ. Ishmael, wiihing to dissembleand tum the talk around,remarked,"You saythat Allah had takena woman' enao*eOher with strength,and then He begot a Son'""
The venerationof saintsand imageswas idolatry to the Moslems' carved A frequently askedquestionwas: "Why is it that you worship worship icons in a mannerary:oPri:te olly pi*"r'.f *."a, and ihat you the io Allah?" In countering the Moslems, Christians tended to base value, rather than on the christodefenseof icons on their instructive emPloyedagainstthe iconoclasts' Pe\lau lhe Spirit logical arguments oie^t"ri cnatrcnai^ lw-t zu) , Vol . 2 (chicago' IL: The university Press,1977),P. 233. of Chicago * At-Mecca, the Qur;an still mentionsMary as 'she who remained Jesus virgin" [Qur'an 21: 91] and her Son whose "nameis Messiah' the QudancallsJesus (lsi;, sonof Mary" [Qur'an3:44,451' Though ]Messiah," the appellation explainedin differentways by Moslem is commentators. tohavelived by Mary is described theQur'anasfrom childhood lcoked after her' The Angel in the temple;d that the ProphetZacharias takes Cabriel announcedto her thi future virgin birth of Jesus' This the stresses miracle of the olace far from human habitation. The text was without a fatherand, thatMary, the 'righteousrvoman'" conception well her chastity' guarded of truth" [Qur'an 5:75, 78]' who "*o.* " became worthy of Allah's spirit and Word, Jesusthe Christ' She the Upon the birth of Jesus, Christ child talks' explainingthat says: He is a slave (Abd Allnh) of Allah and a Prophet' The text also scriPtureand has "Behold! I am the slaveof Allah. He hasgiven me the be' appointedme a prophet. He has mademe blessedwherever I may I remainalive' ani hasenjoinedon nreprayer and almsgiving, as long as me And he has mademe dutiful to her who bore me, and has not made Oal^l arrogant, unblest. Peaceon me the day I was Uom' ani -ttrc fie' aoairc a"y I shall be raised alive' [Qur'an' Sura 19' Maryt 30-13]' (continued .) " .

Mohammed. saini rh; r"orjJ,i"l",r""_

1989),p. t04. *-Islam teachesthat someone else had been crucified in Jesus, stead. _ TheKoranic 1561. They believe that Jesusactrully a.it. -'Y .,

berween materialism pu- ,piri,lriri._. id;J and How.toUnderstand (Ny: rf," cro.'r..Jprlfilftil;;: /.r/az

,,'i; yehi,,-J ";;ffi ; ii:#.ilT iffi"#l;,,l'ff ;-;; ri_ght balance

verse 'They norki f,ir, is: did AIJ,i"y fiJr, n, butlheythought did. ieur'an rhey (Koran, "r, rf,"1n*ai,inij'q, literaly, i r.*er"s



Mary. boreChrist, thJwoiOof CoAi" ir,. n"r'fr,-*ftf* knowing needingman, much or a so more c; Lg;;Fr. did

The saint thenanswered, "you Turks rejectChrist as God, yet say He was born of the Virgin M".y, *t o, glorify as Gcrd'sbirthgiver, th; Theotoko;. *" ""fi""O tihlr"lLJ ff


Father and the Son. Whosoev* a""i",n-,n" Sl":;;;_" "r"tr,* hath,not the Father; but he that acknowredgart ii" i""-n"t]r'tr," al^so" Jn. 2:72, Z3]. Saintpaul atso I clear-ly t"r, -m"n ti"-n firr*r" .t of time_ was come, God sent forth His Son, nrade'of;';;;;rn"d" under the law, to redeemthem that-were under the I"*, tfr"i rr" ooglrt receive adoption sons" the of [Gal. 4:4, 5]. paul ,fr" a*r,'f" i* *rir". "rhou

nr.Qur'an declares. ;:i:li:I?TJ:"T:'l'ffiil;;;li:; e,",g;i.ii;; ya; the ir," denieth

w.ithout woman?, a wasbaj on a pr,y"t""i _i.*1"*fr0;;:r;", 'begetting" meant when attribut€d t"'rf,l,ai"i", p"]it;;5;: The Sutaon Mary declares:"It aoes uent',iilJ . not tiat ne should raketo himself don. Glory be to himi a Wh;';;;;; .Be!' thjnc, he Tys to it only, .Far andit i", tsu.- rs,i5;,i_nrf]'1,*- " where, the

*"TH:i:lj]lt. jg"*. n r., iry ri,,,:;iA';;, ; i',.1. ". rne constant Moslem question: "How "j could Allah begel a Son

*. t90, 191. The Qur'an notesthat Mary felt pain in giving birth. Jesus, fromlis youth, is recordedto haveperforrned nirajes, ui"i"ii';*i,n ,r,"

. .continued) GerardS. Sloyan,,The Jesus the-eur,an, of " ln Jesus Focas:A Life in In hsSettins (Mystic,

p"uri*ii""i isii,7"or.l, CT: Twenty_Thira

2:7; Heb. 1:51, not accordingto the flesh, nor with a woman, nor with any needof a woman,which you erroneously presume.' After saying this, Ishmael was neither off;d;d nor ill-disposed,though many who knew him remnrkedthat he was first in cruelty and fanaticismagainst the Christians.at5 The prisoners then had the opportunity to visit the who imperialambassadors allottedmoneyto them. A Greek doctor. namedTaronites,from Nicra, who had beensummoni to Prusato treat the Emir Orkhan's liver, intervened in their favor and arranged for them to be transferred to Nicaa. Before departingthe Emir's court, the saint was by by commanded Orkhan, who was impressed the theoin Ishmael,to engage put to his grandson logical arguments in a dialoguewith the non-Orthodox his presence. TIIE CHIONES betweenthe A detailed accountof the discussion who wereconverts GregoryandtheChiones, golden-tongued by io.Islam,wasrecorded Dr. Taronites' Havingbeensummoned by the Emir, the Chionespresentedthemselves' Dr' However,they approached Taronites,askinghim if he might cancel thq discussion,for they were afraid to speak beiore the Emir. Failing to get their way' they then asked might be if the saintand other Turks present the discussion that at they pleaded and cancelled; if this werenot possible, of least let not the talks be held in the presence the Emir' granted them' The Emir, however, to was The latterrequest in over the discussion to hisappointed chief deputies preside his absence."oo The Chiones,in an imprudentmanner,blurted out: which Mosesbroughtdown "We haveheardthe Decalogue written on tabletsof stone' We cameto from the mountrain by were alsoobserved the realizethat thesecommandments


artMySon, day r JgJiJnll.in"u. this h*"

The Qur'anstates:"ChristJesus, son the ofMary, wasno more (hanan spostte A of ah" 14: t:.3.l..Islaminsisrs ,i"i'Jf" lirii"rnr, indeed, thosethatsaythatAllah is Christ, are the sonof Mary" lbura 5: l9l and, etsewhere, is written: ,Th"y ir d. ;;;;;; *i,"'i"r] oi,* is cirist,

on them. Howtheyaredeluded a**ay fromthetrurhl, This is in directcontradiction orrhodox lS*";,36; to ;;J S;;;;".", "Whois a tiarbuthethardenieth Jesus thar is,r," Ciri",Z;il i".'iOl. Though_ Moslems notdenythereality the did .r ciiri;, r,"'rn* "-'-' theydid noracknowledge asperfect Him CoO p"rf".i'VJ'. "i'ti*, _a

theson Mary'"lSura 7il _o ,rr,"cii"ti*.liri of 5: clino theSon Altah.That a saying of is frorn-tt"irrnouti..Jtfi;;#*



Turks.' Thus, we left our former wisdom, and went to the Turks, embracing Islam. " Themoderators addressed Archbishop, then the telhng him to makehis defense, he expressed but ,f,"i""*'*^'.", rne appropnate time. As one very humble,Gregoryasked who was he, the leastof all, to speat of the sub'iim'it;;nd loftiness theChurchof Christ? He then of ,.rn*tJ ii'u,in. judgespresently assembled wereprejudiced against case, the and that.it w.?s_ wrong for themto enter theii contradictions Derorethe dlvinely inspired Scripturesand books of the rropnels. Ftnally,he said,,'t am a manin captivity: andI r(nowrnat.atter betrayal our [,ord and the of God, when tte was apprehended the Romans.He answered by notf,in, to merrquesrroning 27: 12_4: Mk. I 4:60, | [Mt. 15:+; l..jk. 2i.g]. However,I perceivethat God has movedif,. g* erj. a learn more about the Orthodox. When one is in authoritv
^ .'The of theeur'an,with histwofoid *p*i* figure of Moses is put in a good light frorn the earliast pages

over many people, one must learn the beliefs of each with maybe givento me' exactitude.Thus,I pray 'that utterance makeknown the that I may openmy mouthboldly to -mystery on of the Gospel' [Eph. 6:19]. I do not makethis defense they, as I haveheardpreaccountof the Chiones,because viously and up to the present,appearto be Hebrewsand not with Hebrews' Turks. Now I will not enterinto discussion Therefore,the mysteryof the Faith is as follows."487 Logos and Wisdom, the Eternal Generation "Only God, Who ever was before the agesis unoriginate, unending, everlasting[Ps. 89:2]' unchanging' indivisibie, without confusion,and infinite.' Everything and changeable. God' the only uncreatedis perishable (A6yo6) not originateOne,is neitherwithoutReason/l-agos is He withoutWisdom(Eo$ta). The Logosof God is also Wisdom'isin the theWisdomof God [1 Cor, l:24], because Logos and without the lrgos there is no Wisdom [1 Cor' 1:3b1. Therefore,to say therewas ever a time when God existedwithout the Ilgos Un' l:ll and without Wisdom' is unfor impious and impossible; the I-ogosof God is alsooriginate, and Wisdom is never to be separated from Him.att "Now the Logos is never to be found without the Spirit, a point which you Turks also confess.'" It is said

slaughter.,[eur,an 2: 190]. Iierefore, the Moslems told to defend are the;selvesin the faceof aggr"r"i"" ,rGi"r. p. I19. Ibid.,
J 5Z

out of theplaces wirence cr"rJ y"r--""i,'r., tr,"y Tj^^Ll:_,|.rn persecutron worse than rs

I'l*lf Allah, for which against . .l"j' :h.m they will be subjectto judgmenai"lfrl. *"aa and the next [seeeur'an Z:'ge, rc, Zl,\5, lg, at';i;;.;.;rr. -#O Nomikos Michael Vaporis,review of ,Jews, Cfrri"ti_r, fr4uj. According to the eur'an,. by AMulaziz a. SachJin.a,l; ;;;;", C.his.tians MuslimslBrooiline, MA: and Holy C-* Onira"*-pi""", 1986), I15, l 16. pp. in the perspective today,spolitical problem, of _, . f*1 Islam, throuehthe eur'an. jusrifiesforcewhen ;i;gil;;;;;; ; ;d, Allah against thosewho fight against you, but beginnoi h*titiii"r.-Lf "f AIIah.lovethnot aggressois;' irO,SLy th"rn d".";;; ;;;;;il-,

*a th€-leaderofhis people, the Hebrews. Moses is seenas a prefigurement of Mohammed, the new Moses of the Arabs. Jr;;;. The eur'an, however, accuses- f.*" tn" nf jJii, pride anO hardnessof heart. The Jews are qescnbed as cursed for their unbelief [Qur'an 2: 88]; they (the Jews)begrudgethe fact tf,"t alf"i Hewirr. [eoj.rr,"i,unueri"ri" "i."fi'r"r*r viewJi-rJu"]uon

,r,"-.*ipi*; ;;ilH

' The Moslems'betiefaboutAllah is that "thereis no Allah but Him' the Living, the EtemalOne' [Qur'an2: 255]' - In the Koran, it is written: 'O peopleof the Book! Do not Allah' but-the in exagg€rate your religion or utter anythingconceming of son Jesus, of Mary, wasonly a messenger Allah' trutil The Messiah, and Allah's word which he conveyedto Mary, and a spirit from him" Sloyan'p' see [Qur'an, Sura4, Women: l7l, 1721, alsoSura2l: 9l]' 19l. The teachingof the Koran that Christ was to be called 'l-ogos" to apologists dernand:"Dost thou mean Christian and "Spirit' permitted (continued..


Himsetthe f, rngos cd. No; ;td affi;a. of ;;it thus, bur
Moses in-rhe atso Decalogue, *niJf,1""

them(theradiance theray),sun,,and and ""r" do notname them another apartfrom theone. Thus,it i, sun tt" s"r" *f,"n n_"rne and the Iogos of God and God tf," ff"iv S"irit. -y9 do notname We some othe;cod f.; ;;O;;,'w'i";I;" anO with 9ri.Sin1g eternal frg", _O ^rogether the spirirtEph.2:1g1jts"""fgf ""L "Thisis howwewere taught believe confess to and by christ

yet :1T:.dl*" uryn (star) _y., the"radianc"-LJ'ir,J.. -*i s€parate from the disk "",". itself. Thati, *f,l

2:181, not as we havereason but anda youan example.As theeffulgence spirit. I shallgive of thi sunf*".r-itLo

and these Three onef i 1"". are s,zi.; c;;';.r" Logos Spirit -1:1, i co..iiii;'ipn and z; [n. Io:9,_h1a

unongrnate indivisible. For God and wasnevel no. *lfi ff" ever be, without spirit or rquon (togos); Onettrereforeis Three,

andnever sepanted theHoiy Spirit, ff,*"f"ri"C"O from an$.a are *iil, lli1?r:r llirit thar ever nirn,-anJa-rl also

[Rev. 19:l3] and the spirir codtnom.i:9i +,0ffri.i. ii. r*"_'.js1"",*U of ca. ,

that Christis the logos (Word)of God

said 'hrd' twice and 'God' once-in order to reveal the Three in One and the One in Three. From the beginning, Moses desired to reveal that God and the Logos have the Them and with Them is OneGod. The Spirit and between everything,said, 'kt therebe light, Creator,Who created and there was light' [Gen. l:3]. He said, 'I-et the earth seed...'[Gen. 1:11]. bearing bring forth the herbof grass, David says,'all that God Now, withoutgoing into detail, as said, came to be' [Ps. 148:5; 103:32; 135:4-9]. The versethen, 'God said,and it cameto pass'reveals scriptural that God has a logos-for a saying cannotbe without a word-and by this l,ogos did all creationcome to pass[1 beforeall creationand Cor. 8:61. The Logosof God existed is uncreated 1:l-3; l7:5,24; Heb. l:2]. Sincethe [Jn. how can He not be God? This Logosof God is uncreated, "ae0 is because only God is uncreated.

your,part. WhenMosesuttered,iThe "a"iiJ", Lord our C;;;;"" Lord' fDeut. 6:41, he saidthreetimes the On"_Uouur" f,.
*(...continued) God had neither Soirit nor [,o^gos?' confronted witnlucna quesriln, :i",n ;"-;"-""ra.;;; awaf"fom /ou,.answering norhing. pelikan, " p.232. that before^ creaaed He the togos and the Spirit,

'U. slaveof Allah, nor will the favor"A angets....Gfrry . ffi::i;;a, Mary: l7l-1731. Sloyan,p. 192.

Heisall that in ,r,"r,*"""" is Allahis sufficienr defender. Messiah *Jr",#iinl'Lo as The *iii,*".'*#'i.

It will Ue'Uetter ror'yr",' f"JiiUf, is One Allah, It is far removedtrom fils transcendent rnaiesty that he sh.ould.have a son.

Jn. 5:71. T,.,]TT3'*i'j 9T"frdesist. ,,t".,'i"*"""i'j"';3dI._ wntes: "say not .Trinity':

I he O hodoxbelieve with theEvangelist Johnthat ,thereareThroe thatbearwitness Heaven: theFather, in the Word, and the Holy Spint;

The Making of Man the "Now let us returnto Mosesconcerning making manof dustof the of man. He says,'And God formedthe uponhis facethe breathof life, and the earth,and breathed a man became living soul' [Gen. 2:7]. Within the verse, a the 'God breathed breathoflife, andthe manbecame living 15:19;8:9] that soul,' it is revealed God hasa Spirit [Rom. andthatSpirit is creatingUob 33:4; Gen. 1:21. The Creator of the soul is solely God. Thus did Job say, 'The divine Spirit is that which formed me, and the breathof the Alme" Uob. 33:4'l.aer mighty that which teaches (the writes: 'The Thessalonian Then Dr. Taronites prophets. He said gaveother testimony the of Archbishop) David uttered,'He sentforth His Word and He healed that them, and He deliveredthem from their comrption' [Ps106:201 and in anotherplace, David said, 'Thou wilt send forth Thy Spirit, and they shallbe created;and Thou shalt renewthe faceof the earth"' [Ps. 103:32].



All presentthen exclaimed,"That which thou dost utter is the truth and it cannotbe otherwise!,,The saint then reiteratedthat God is Three and the Three is One God and Creator. Unableto hold themselves back, they cried out in unison,"As thou hastrevealed unto us, it is the truttranJ we accept it!" The saintthensaid, "Good..Glory to God Who, in His goodpleasure, so granted. has "ae2 The Incarnate Lord The Turks then intedected this point, and asked, at "Tell us how Christis named Allah [Rom9:5], ,in."-ff" i, a manand wasborn as a man."' The saintthin said, ,,God is not only the Ruler of all and rhe Almighry,but He is righteous[Heb. l:8]; as the prophetDaviJ says, .For the lord is righteous and hath loved righteousness,- l0:7], [is. and 'there is. no unrighteousness Him' in [ps. 9lrl3]. Hence,thereis no work of the lord that containsun.leht_ *y:n".:. Just as 1he ray of the sun simultaneously ias qurcKenrng power. Iight and heat, thus the energyoi God Certainly God lo:lesses divine power and righteousness. fashioned man for good works and commanded io tiu" trim accordingto His divine command. Since, however, man disobeyed,he voluntarily was subjected the devil to ano sinned [Rom.5:12]." Justifiably he condemned death is to
By.this typical question,we hear the Moslems, difficulty in .understanding what St. Cyril of Alexandria succinctly stated the liird at Ecumenical Council: "We arenot preaching deifij frr*_ U"i"g, i",, a on the contrary,we areconfessing God become incam"t". H" lVf;o *"" mornefless respect essence, fathedess respect wlth lo and with to economy on the earth, subscribed His Own handmaid His to as Mother., ?he Rudder,ftar,s.by D. Cummings (Chicago, IL: The OrthodoxChristian Educationaf Society 1957\,o.224. , * Moslemsbelievethatiuman natureis not ,fallen,. though they that Adamcenaintydisobeyed Allah in Eden. t",ii"r, p. ::kt1l"dg" +!+. I ne stn ot Adamwassimply a prototypicsl to which act we are all (continued...)

by [Rom. 6:16]. It is not God'swill to savepeople compelling them [Mt. 18:14;Jn.6:40], for this is discrimination againstthe devil who did not takeman by force [Gen. 3:6; I Tim. 5: l5l.' If God was to deliver man by force and man'sown will. God will not this constraint woulddisregard that He dissolveHis work. Therefore,it was necessary living without becomeincamateman, born without sin and sin; and, of His own will, help sinningman' No man can Not claim this, 'for who shall be pure from uncleanness? even one; if even his life shouldbe but one day upon the earth' Uob 14:4,51. So also doesthe ProphetDavid say, in 'for behold,I wasconceived iniquities,andin sinsdid my mother bearme' [Ps.50:5].4e3 one of "On account that, theonly sinless is the I-ogos Man, bom of a virgin pn. the of God, Who became Son of unto. the by 1:14; Rev. 19:13;Is. 7:141. He was testified
*(...continued) open-to think of ourselves as equal to Allah. Satan, according to the Qrir'an, tempted Adam and his spousewith etemal life and unending dominion [Qur'an 20: 120]. Islam doesnot accept'original sin"; it recognizesits consequences in man's life. They believe that immediately after his disobedience, Adam 'received certain words from his l-ord, and he tumed toward Him, for He is truly 'Relenting Compassionate'" [Qur'an 2: 37]. Adam becornesthe first sinner and also the first proPhet. N.M. Vaporis, review of 'The Word of God in Islam,' by Mahmoud Mustafa Ayoub, In Onhodox Christians and Muslims, p- 71. Hence, immediately after his disobedience, Adam was forgiven by Allah, but was not brought back to his previous condition. The Moslem believes that one is under continuous judgment, but can overcome this judgment by the light of Revelation, without there being any need for Allah's redeeming action. The believer is delivered from sin by trusting in the one and only Allah. N.M. Vaporis, review of 'The Importance of Orthodox-Christian-Muslim Dialogue,' by Metropolitan Constantine of Derkon, In Orthodox Chrittians and Muslims, p. l3* Moslems believe in the divine decree 'for good and evil, sweetand bitter," that is, of believing that everything has been decided by Allah; thus, in one senseeverything comes from Him. Jomier, pp.47,48.



v_oice the Father[Mt. 3:17; l7:5; Lk. 3:22; 2 pet. of l:17,1. was tried by the devil but not temptedthereby,Uut.atn". !e He.vanquished [Mt. 4: l-l 1]. With great**tr,'*o.a, him and marvelsdid He reveal and cbnfirm Ui" fuitt *f"in" energy. H9 took upon Himself the sufferingof-A guihy, the g1;anddescending Hies into :ven-ullo death[phil. 2:7, [l Pet. 3:19; Eph. 4:91,He deliveredthem thaibelieved.--' The Thessalonian,Gregory, then desired to sDeak . about the Resunectionand Ascensionof the Lord. 'He brought forward the testimonyof the prophets,ty whom f,e prored.that Christis God, bom of the Virgin, Who out of His love for manendured passion .or", the -d other things. The Turks then with loud shoutsint"..oi"O -i -J,_y him, and said, 'How is it that thou dost say that All-J'was born after dwellingin a woman'swomb?. fney Aso asted many other questions that category. fhe saintthen in said, 'God is not bodily super immense, so rhat i;-;r, accommodate smallplace. As bodiless a pn. 4:241,He can be everywherepresent,simultaneously Loth f,"." in heavenabove tEph. 4:61. As such, even in the .rJl"r, -aplace, He may dwell completely.'aes Then, throwninto an uproar,theyexclaimed. "Allah spoke and Christ came to be!.. egain the Thessalonian
' I-nwhat sense the Moslemsperceive do Christ as the divine I-ogos? The Moslemsview Allah's cr€8tiveact, expressed both in the qur,"n=and thg Bible, as by words of comrnand. in Genesis,tn" U.Jl"." J T that the first act of creationwas the divine resounding *"rd,;;;;;." be light' [1:3]. In the eur'an, rhe Word of GJ, as tl";;;r. command,is expressed the divine "be. (&an)_the in fiat of creationour The Qur'an says, "Surely,th" ,i.ilituO" off*r,r. t"for" :{.":,FC. _ Allah rs as that of Adam; He createdhim from dust and said to him, "Be'; and he was. [eur'an, Sura 3, Zhefamily o! tnra.n:6|. -thus S-imilarly,Jesus created the same was by divine fiat or creat-ive command. J=".to like Adam, an original crearion. Irr the case of;;;-"" Iei, rn l[st ol Adam, the o;rrative divine power of creation is the word of (continu€d. ..)

responded, 'You saythatChristis theIogos of God.' How then can the l-ogos becomethe logos again by another? For, if this is the case,then the logos of God is not counoriginate with God. We spokeof this earlierand you all agreed theIrgos andSpiritareco-unoriginate God. that with This is why Christ is not only the logos but the Spirit of God."

'(...continued) comrnand(amr) nd not the word of creative act (khalq). Yapriq review of 'The Word of God in Islam,' by Ayoub, In Onhodox Christians Muslims,p. 72; Sloyan,p. 193. aM 'Qur'an 4, l7l. Actually, to Moslem commentators, term the "Word' is interpreted sayingthat Allah created by Jesus a direct word by andnot according the ordinaryprocessos nature. Jomier,p. 106. to of Evenihoughthe Qur'anspeaks Christa.s Word of God, of the this doesnot mean is a revelation it frorn thepoint of view of Islam. To them,revelation, followingtheancient Semitic pattemof a divinesound or an uttercdword, may also be broadly understoodto be containedin a book. Moslemshave for the most pert affirmed that the Qur'an in its essence the etemaland uncreated is Word of God. l€t us takea look at the first chapterof the Fourth Gospelwhere St. Johnwrites,'In thebeginning theWord, andtheWord waswith was God, and the Word wasGod. The samewas in the beginningwith God. All thingsweremade Him; andwithout Him wasnot any thing nr,ade by that was made"[l:l-3]. Thoughthe Moslemsdo not ass€rtthat the Qur'an is Allah, they do not believeas Johndoesthat all thingswere madethroughthe divine l-ogos. To them, the etemalQur'an is the source of salvation or guidance. The Orthodor believe with the Evangelist that 'th€ Word was madeflesh, and dwelt amongus' Un. 1:l4l; whereas, Moslemwill maintainthat the etemalQur'an was the made bookandentered a into our timeand history, Vaporis,reviewof 'The Word of God in Islam,' by Ayoub,pp- 72, 73. - TheSpiritof theLord is thevery Spiritof God. The Spiritof God is the sameas the Holy Spirit I Cor. t2:3]. The ApostlesPaul and Petercall the Holy Spirit the 'Spirit of Christ' [Rom. 8:9, ll; Phil. l: 19; I Pet. l:111. WhenSt. Paulwrote: 'But ye arenot in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so b€ that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if my manhavenot theSpiritofChrist, he is noneof His' [Rom. 8:9], he (continued..,



Thenpointingto a nearby rock, thepreacher ofgrace, _ said,"Now whenGod spoke, rock herecameto be-also this thegrassandthe creeping things. If, therefore, Christcame to be with the word of God-and, as you agree,He is the Word of God and Spirit-then the stones and the grassand everyreptileis the word andspirit of Godalso,because they cameto be whenGod spoke. Therefore,do you seehow evil an utterance is for oneto say, .God spoke it andChristcame to be'? This is because pre-eternal the Logosof God, Who took on flesh I Jn. l:l], did not become confused with it; thenature Godhood thel-ogoswasnot transformed or of into flesh. Because, we said,He took on humannaturefrom as us [Heb. 2:16, 17] and for us, and all the while remained God with God (theFather),as His co-etemal logos through WhomGod madetheages..ae6 Mohammed Then one of the Chiones,namedpalapanos, after gainingthe silence his comrades, of cameforward and said to theThessalonian, "Announce our master (theEmir) that to we accept Christ, and that we love and honorHim. and that
"(...continued) first mentions 'spirit of God" an<t the immediately addsthat the same is the 'Spirit of Christ,' so thatwe might understand wherethe Holy that Spirit is thereis Christ. St. Ambrose,On the Holy Spirit,Book l, ch. IV and Book 3, Ch. IX. SaintJohnof Damascus brings to our attentionthat we do not saythat the Holy Spirit isfrom the Son, but we call Him the "Spirit o/ theSon.' Orthodox Fairlr, BookOne,Ch. VIII. NsitherSt. paul nor St. Gregory Palamas assertthat the Spirit and Christ are identical. The Paulinepassages [Rom. 8:9, I Cor.2:12.1and Gregory'sstatement St. declare 'intimaterelationof natureandnot a confusion persons. the " of St. Basil, Or the Spirit, Ch. XVIII. Therefore, who makes he mention of the Spirit alone,embraces in this confession also Him of WhomHe is the Spirit. St. Basil, Epistle )AUW , To His Brother Gregory @J lIyssa).

we call Him the l,ogosandbreath(rvof) of Allah. We also haveHis Mother herecloseto Allah.' our "However,wilt thou not accept prophetnor love him?" The Thessalonian answered."Whoever does not believe in the words of the Teacheris not able to love the Teacher[n. 14:23]. It is for this reasonthat we do not love Mohammed. Our lord and God Jesus Christ said that He judgeall the world [Mt. 16i27:25:.311, wouldcomeagainto and he announced us not to acceptanothertill He came to to lMt. 24:5; Mk. 13:6,21, 22; Lk. 21:81. He alsouttered themthatdid not believe,'I havecomein My Father'sname, and you do not receiveMe' [Jn. 5:43]. This is why the preach discipleof Christ wrote: 'If...an angelfrom heaven to any otherGospelto you thanwhatwe havepreached you, let him be accurs€d"'[Gal. l:8].4e7 The Law a Thenboth theChiones theTurksposed question and wasgiven to the Thessalonian: is clearthatcircumcision "It by Allah from the beginning [Gen. 17:11],and that Christ Himself was circumcised [Lk. l:59]. Therefore,why is it anthat you are uncircumcir"42t+re The Thessalonian of swered,"Sinceyou bring up the commands the old Godgiven law to the Hebrews,know that He alsogavethemthe performed the and Sabbath, HebrewPassover, the sacrifices only by the priests upon the altar of sacrificebefore the veil practices weregiven by God, of the temple. Sinceall these
"ln the entire Koran there do not occur any praisesof Mohammed or his motherAminah, suchasare found aboutour Lord JesusChrist and " John Cantacuzene in the holy Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, commented (PG 154:417, hisApol. l.l6i 18 425). In fact, Mary is the only womanwhosenameis given explicitly by in the Qur'an; all others are designated the nameof their husband, Orthodox i.e., the wife of Adam, the wife of Noah, etc. Nevertheless, venerationof the Virgin Mary and the saintss€€med the Moslems to to be a further violation of the monotheisticfaith. .



how is it that you .neitheracceptnor perform evenone of the aforementioned? " ae At this point, neitherthe Chiones nor the Turks had . a defensebefore the Archbishop. ffre ff,eJonian -tf,"" resumed discussion the prophets his on anacfea.fvexf,iUiiea how they foretoldthe transposition tfre faw of airJ if,. OfO I esument, that this would be realized throughChrist -and lMt. 5:lzt.' He thensaid,"Whatyou *;-;yt;;;:;;;r,
'Islam distinguished betweenthe inspiredprophet,who has nor receiveda particularmission,and the messengenii. il*'r*"f".a mission. Every massenger necessarily p.opli"t, is " Uuttt ."u"rr" i, no, " Th: eur'an gives the title of ,."r*r,g".; to " ti" rnrin litn""r :rue. figures which it rnentions between Adam J"ru", in"frOirg"No"r,, Moses, etc.t also addedare some Arabian -j messengers *t rG i. $," Bible. Jomier,p. 45. Adam, the eur'an [2O; ll5] states,had no resolve (,azz). , n:***, is one of the propheisof power, ., ,"*i""i ii, l::::: atn). te.us wasunlike Adamin that He was not affected the touch " by of Satan. Therefore, is like Adam,but He without ;. ;;;:;;," tradition relatedfrom the prophetMoh"-."a, " n"*;;;;L"" touchedby Satan,but not so in the cases "uery of fo* ffi.'frAotf,rr. Vaporis, review of.The Word of God "nJ in frf"_," Uy ay""i,'pl"ZZ; Ahnad ibn Hanbat,Musnad,ed. Ahmad tUuframmjasi"ii"r'1i",ro, t375/t9s5), 15, H. lgo?ff. In the Qur'an,Jesus depicted good,possessing is as filial piety, andperformingmiractes.The Moslerns alJ chiri ;;,l;is';"il*, *;;.", the irture coming of Mohammed, the head of receivedthe Gospelas Mohammedreceived "ii;;G;. ;;r;; the aur,;. *;;r" thar ?assedaway before Him [eur,an 5: 78]. lt^,:yT::lqers th€ to Moslems appears the Arab form of the etemal as lflfu"t,.t"t"rn rcngron. is presented the reformer Judaism Chns_ as of and -filoharuned tianity, aftertheJewsandChristians wereuntbithfulto MosesandJesus.

looksfor its end." Again' they that snd everything is ancient your Intemlpted,saying,"Why is it that whenyou construct churches,they have many images' which you venerate; whereas,Allah wrote and said to Moses, 'Thou shalt not of maketo thyselfan image,nor likeness any thing, whatever are above,andwhatever in the earth thingsarein the heaven beneath, and whatever are in the waters under the earth' answered,"We [Deut. 5:8; F;x. 2041. The Thessalbnian ven"t"te the friendsof God out of love, but we do not make them God. This is exactly how Moseswas instructedby God, and this is how he taught the people-and this is cvident. In fact, nothingmadeby Moseswaswithout a plan within objects 26-31]. Those chaps. or sketch [Ex. 25:8-40; for theCherubim things; theveil werea typeof theheavenly heavens,they made images which were that are in the within the inner sanctuary [Ex' 37:7-9]. Those established after weremodelled the which wereoutside sanctuary objects the thingsof the earth. "If one were to questionMosesas to why he made and on earth, which you claim imagesof things in heaven that God forbadeimages God prohibited,he would respond gods,but it is goodifone were as andidols to be worshipped awedby Greeks, them. Now the ancient led to God through praisecreation;for by it creation,prais€d as gd. We, too, led to give glory to God." The Turks then said, it, we are " "Yes, it is true Mosesmadethosethin-gs. The othersthen "Yes, he madethemall."5m answered. The Closeof the Discussion took At thisjuncture,the Turks ros€up' respectfu'lly and leaveof the Thessalonian, departed. Then one of the himselffrom insulting Chiones,who all the while restrained behind' He then, shamethe greathierarchof God, stayed lesslyand angrily, rebukedthe holy manand' with his !st' face. Someof the Turks' laid a blow uponthe Archbishop's who stayedbehind, saw this and took hold of the Chione'

Jomier,loc. cit. The prophets the mear," are :liy:" ur /tran s communtcation mankind,though to they are humanbeings. Daniel J. Sahas,"The Formation .f r:t; Iri;'"ri;-;;;";J Response Byzantinepolemics: The Miracles.f ao " M;;;;;,;, Olhodox TheologicalReview,Brzanriun and Isla;, ;J;: 9r:el rr;.. 2 & 3 (Summer-Fa l9g2); 308. ,

j1",:.,.!:bel the .*.1Y."::l't'andinta ible. deveroped idesthatth" p;;;;,




everyrhing heard,ie he recorded ls.tllng,urlh1, as thoughGod were "..urlt.ty,

After accusing him, theybroughthim beforethe Emir. The l urKsrebukedthe Chione sayingthat as the Thessalonian arrived, so shouldhe depart.sdr DoctorTaronites thencloses account thispoint, his at

In July of 1354, St. Gregory wrote that thev were transferred Nicea, which hadf;ll;n to ttrefurts to lri t3Zg. gaverheprisoners libertyto minslewith It Ty"l, theguards rne unnstrans. Archbishop Gregorythen learnedthire was a monasteryin those parts, dedicatedto St. Hvacinth. his group, the saint went there alone and :epallng roundtl_e-trom Christians, who yearned meethim andprav with to nlm. Havrng.accomplished he blessed this, theman'ddismissed them.5ol After visiting the Monast€ryof St. Hyacinth, ,the . following day," the saintwrote in a letter to tris ctrurctr.,,1

to mention this,since thevare of no useto thecirizens now?). I ttrenexitJifre ea-ste,ii city gates. nearbymy company. Going a bit further, I noticed a marDre block(cube) whichwasembellished some with eotd. I questioned bystanders the aboutthe prrpor" of tf,i, ofiLt. They began to tell me, but were interrupted tt-;;ili"g moumersthat kept lamentation with a cerain tonalitv. R thosein my vicinity watchedthe approach of . Uuiiru.", . lookrng multitude walkingstraight towardthemarble block. l and thosewith me then movedto get out of the way, and we stoodat a distance observe to and hearthe proceedlngr. Whenthe mourners comeup beforetf,. ufdt, had in"v flpt silent. A bier, wrapped and driped *itl, lur,itelin"n-i *"s rnen ceremoniously placed upon the block. After the moumers a circle, one of their religiousmen f9r1ed lrarl_ mancsor Mullah) spreadforth his handsand let out a'loud

buirdings and g..ri_J.t.o"g Xglg^.9f,31 do I botherthetown,s rontrlcatrons (why

act cry. Likewise, the otherscorresponded.N9w thr.s took placethreetimes. They then took up the bier and went off io Uury the deceased' After this ritual, the tasimanes departedwith the peoplein the direction of their homes' The Greeks with me ihen returned to the east gate, when they noticed that one of the tasimaneswith a group of people of to decided restin the shade the gate,to enjoythe season's the Greeksand the Moslemssat and cool breeze. Thus, of restedin the shadow the gate."su point, St' Gregoryaskedif therewas anyone At this in the group that might be bilingual. Since-there was ,or*nJ there able to interpret,St. Gregory askedif that the in person would speak his behalf' Throughthetranslator, 'hierarch know to spoke theTurkishreligiousman,saying,"I tehalf goodthere-on thatyou criedout beforeGod something to I of thedeceased. desire learnwhatyou saidto God"' By answered,"We sought the sametranslator,the tasimanes of from Allah forgiveness sins for the soul of the deceased. Again, takingthe initiative,the saintsaid' "Good' "
to - The good Muslim wants the good works which he has done last judgment' weigh mor! than his wicked actions in the balanceat th€ gods ThJsin which cannot be forgiven is s/rir't, the crime of setting other alongside of Allah. The Qur'an teachesthat life is a test, that life on this earth lasts is only for a white [Qr,t'an 61: 7]. The Moslem believes that there reward and punishment, that there is a life after this one, and that reward but or punishment are not necessarily kept for the Day- of Judgment' begin irnmediately upon death' The Moslem also believes in human of reJponsibility and in ihe resurrection. Jomier, p '16; Vaporis' reriew 'Ti" Import-"e of Orthodox Christian-Muslim Diatogue'' by Met'

Constantineof Derkon, P. 12. Characteristics;f th€ 'righteous" are as follows: 'Rightmus is the he who believeth in Allah and the t ast Day and the angels and to Scripture and the Prophets; and giveth his wealth, for love of him' kinsfolk and to orphans and the ne€dy and the wayfarer and to those-who the ask, and to set slaves free; and observeth proper worship and Payeth (continued...)



atthe and rearrurimpartiar :xffi;,U,1?1i"Ti:J:..T'l#
Christ and Mohammed C:n,inuing, St. Gregory,said, "Abraham,your fore_ _, ramer,who received law, which the Jews "^." the obsirve, said to God,_Thou thatjudgestthewholeearth,strUt ftrou noiOo right?'[Cen. I8:25]. Now He Who wiff iuOle tfreearti,is the sameGod, Who, according the prophet"D-l.i to i.-tf," King of all tDn. 7:271,and ii not differentfilG;;;". according.to divinity, just as the ray is not differenttt,an-in" sunaccording light." to Thetasimanes appea.red discomfited fell silentfor and . a shortspell. However,at this point many more Christians
l...continued) poor hi.sdue. And thosewho keeptheir treaty when they makeone, and the patientin tribulationandadversity time and of stresJ.Sr;;;;;;"y who aresincere.Such theAllah-fe.lng, are teur;an Z: iiZf. f"f". recognrzes- possibility of such righteo;sno, the tfr" irU.*"r, "i_, other Books. "surely thos€rhat believe(ttre "_ong Uosteirsj, anj'ii"r" "f Jewry, and the Christians,and thoseSabeans, "t who beli# ii aiiJ the lrst Day. andwork righteousness_their ""0 wageawait, tt em *ittr it e,, Loro, and no lear shall be on them,neithershall they sorrow" [eur,an 2: 621. Vaporis,reviewof ,Jews,Christians, frl"lf irn"'e""".a1"g a the Qur'an," by Sachedina, 120. p. -O

lnvoKrng asGod,aswedo, do youknowthatHe Hrm is the logos of the Father undivided and irom gimi ij* jb,:O; l7:1I,211. For there no interval is between eutfl.i _O tf," the. begotrenogos' [Jn. 1:lg; Jn. 10:38]- i"-r""i". '*," t tasimanes said, "Jesus is the servant nnJli' 'fne also of saintthen 'Upon this thou mustmeditate, sood mv _ytd, man, thatHe wilt judge,borhrhelivingandttreOeaa ivno

10:42; t7:31.;2 Tim:4:ll. Consequently, nti,'tr,"t ' iii.i" prayers cries.'fh"."fore, *h"n and 13-1!out!,.airect _our

*" hasthe power to forgive is the Judge;and He .O,t1: wno rs to comeandjudgeall menis Christ ".. Un. 5:22; Acts

to and Turks assembled hear the discussion. 'fhe tasimancs then said, "We believein all the prophets'includingChrist, and the four books,which camedown from Allah; and one of thesebooksis the Gospelof Christ."56 turned to himself, lhe tasimanes Finally composing our and said,"How comeyou do not accept the Archbishop, from own prophetandbelievein his book which camedown "Both ofus havethe custom heaven?"' The saintanswered,
Mohammed was bom in Mecca around 570' Texts describehis fint vision in the desertduring a retreat into solitude in a cave on Mount Hira outside Mecca. In the year 610 he had a dream-some traditions speak of a vision during a vigil-wherein he beheld a superhuman being, purported to be the Archangel Gsbriel, who ordered him to recite a text and called him the 'Messenger of Allah." The first revelation of the Qur'an was the command to 'recite in the Name of your [,ord who created. createdrnan from a blood clot...and taught him what he knew not' [Qur'an, Sura 96]. In fear, Mohammed hastily retumed home, and nothing came of the event. In 612, the phenomenaof heavenly visions began again. He heard indistinct noises and little by little the meaning of the messagebecame clear. He was told not to be hasty or rush attout expressingwhat he had to say [Qur'an 75: 16-19]. Jomier, p. 9. We are told on the authority of 'A'ishah, Mohammed's wife, that at times her husband would fall into something like a trance. He would hear in his earsa sound like the ringing of bells. If this took place on a hot summer day, often Mohammed would shiver as if it were cold' If this took place on a cold winter day, his face would drip with sweatas if it were hot. Ho would then ask to be covered with a mantle, and when he woke up he would understand the sound that was communicated to him, not as words but as divine words (to8oi)' unbound by letters and sounds. The Moslems believe that their Prophet's mind, as a pure receptacleof the divine Word, could not be coniaminated with human reason. For nearly twenty-two y€rs the angel came with subsequent revelationswhich made Muslim history. Vaporis, review of "The Word of God in Islam,' bY AYoub, PP. 73, 74. Some in Mohammed's entourage were converted to the new faith. The Qur'an was gath€redon bones, stones,palm leaves,and in the minds and hearts of people. These various collections were critically examinedand edited under the direction of the third Caliph, Othman ibn (continued...) *



not to acceptor reject anythingwithout true witness. A wltoesscan be dual, that is, either from works or deedsor from trustworthy persons.Now Moseschastised EsyDtwith signsand wonders[Deut. 6:22]. He cleaved s"ea'with the a rod.andthenhe_converged watersagain the [Ex. 14:21,271. God alsoprovided jex. 16:1S1. manna thewilderness in ts it necessary that we mention anymore, since Moses is a crediblewitnessevento you? He wasa faithful servanfof God[1Chr.6:49;2Chr.24:9; Neh.10:29; Dan.9:11; Rev. 15:31, he was not His Sonor L,ogos but iact, Z,3Z;'U"b. 3:5, 61. Then, according the divinecommand, to Moses wentto restwith his fathers [osh. l:l; Jude1:9].s07 "In addition to all His excellentworks, -Christalso bore testimony Mosesand the other prophets to 1Lk.2,4:il , 441. And from rhebeginning saidthati{e wasthe Loeos He of God [Mt. 26:63,64; Lk.22:70; Jn. 3:1g;g:35_37] frim all ages,and that only He was born of a viigin [Lk. l:34, 351. Of His own will, He is the only Oneto ir."nA irnrno._ tal into heaven [n. 3: l3], and will judge both the living and the dead[Mt. 16:,27]. That which I ]iaveconfessed is"also y!_atyou Turksbelieve,thatis, thatHe ascended heaven into lMk. 16:19; Lk. 24:511.'
'(...continued) Affan (c. 575{56), a relative and lieutenant of Mohammed who had married in successiontwo of Mohammed's daughters. lbir!., p.74; The Encyclopedia Americana, 1957 ed., s.v, ,Othman., The Qur'an affirmed that Mohammed was the messenger of Allah, sent to the Arabs as Moses had been sent to pharaoh [eur;in-7f: l5l. Adherents to the eur'an increasedand the book,s *in-ority *, revered as absolute, Jomier, loc. cit. ' The Moslems believe that A ah raised up Jesus to heaven, where He dwells and whence He will retum just before the end of the world. Vaporis, review of "The Importance of Orthodox Christian_Muslim rrrarogue,- by Metropolitan Constantineof Derkon, loc. cit. Sura 3, IDe Fatnily of Imran:55, states: "Remember when Allah said, .O Jesus! Behold, I gather you up and causeyou to ascendto me, and am cleasing (continued...)

Now you know why we believein Christ and His we Gospel. As for Mohammed, do not seethatthe Prophets bear witnessof him. nor do we have the witnessof him works." Hence,we performing and any miracles noteworthy
1...continued) you of those who disbelieve; and I am s€tting those who follow you gbove those who disbelieve until the day of resurrection. Then you will all retum to m€ and I shall judge between you 8s to that over which you used to differ.'" Sloyan, p. 194. There are also other Islamic traditions about Jesus. One of them claims that Jesus will retum to Jerusalem before the end of time and proclairn His Islam, or 'submission/surrender to the will of Allah,' publicly. Though these stories are popular, they are far from having the sam€ authority as the Qur'an texts. Jomier, P. 109. ' Mohammed insists that he is a man, who speaks to rnen [Qur'an 6:E, 91. He emphatically ststosthat he has "no knowledge of the unseen" [Qur'an 7:188]. In his demand for a sign or portent, it is \9ritten in Islamic tradition that Allah confirms to Mohammed that he is not going to get any portent; 'thou art e 'wamer' only, and for every folk a guide'

13:71. lQpr'an

Byzantinepolemicistschallengedthe prophethoodof Mohammed on the basisthat there neither existed the testimoniesof revelation nor of previous prophets, There were no proofs or demonstrations of miracles. Mohammed neither pronounced any prophecy, nor did he foretell things which were to befall him. Furthermore, there was no examination of Mohammed's personal chsrscter. The Islamic community, therefore, was under pressure from outside, as well as from within, to produce a higher profile of their prophet, especially when Christians would ask, "Where is, then, your prophet?' Often the Moslems would claim that the first followers of Mohammed were not so mindful in collecting evidence of his signs and miracles, as they were in compiling the Qur'an' Neverthel€ss, this question provided the stimulus for the emergenceof the embellishment of the life of Mohammed with miracle.s. Islam desired to justify Moslem superiority over Christianity by ascribing to Mohammed even greater signs than those of Jesus. By the mid-€ighth century, Ibn Sa'd (764-845), in defense of Islam, related the 'apocryphal" miracles of Mohammed. It is quite interesting that several of Mohammed's miracles sound as if they are being offered as responses to Christians, in that they bear an amazing (continued....



believe neither_inhim nor the book (Koran) that he has handed down."soE The tasimanes indignant, was andretorted,.Moham_ med is written in your Gospel,but you have .#oueA tf,e rererence. Moreover,he roseup from out ofthe eastas the
'(...continued) resemblance the miracles to ofChrist. bt€r Byzantine polemicists, such as Bartholo_rneos E<tessa 9th c.) .iOi"ut.a of (c. ;"*""i""f" tradition of Mohammed's "ueo'tn" arcension heaventUased S"o"iZ,f to on t, whichstates:"Glorifiedbe He who carried His serv*iiy ,f," Inviolableplaceof Worship to the Far Oisrance ptace "igfo'ir.rn ,fr" ii fior"frio neighborhood whereof haveblessed, w" .igii We ,f,"i r*ir,_ ,i"* tokens!' Bartholomeos "t admonishes fr,furfim his int"-Ao"utor'to'a'i'"i"gura the.tale, saying,'Mohamrned, beingearthly,a creatur", r"*_i, ,nort"f and incorruptible, not ascend did into treaven.O" ."i " a*"i[1"r.*lf that it is true that he ascended into heavenor that his aaugtrte.fatima testifies to the event. [Confutation of tn" nosor"r.,i{tii, ,riof . By the ninth century,however.Muslims reached fhe point rn -

appryto thecomingof Mohammed.Trteparaclete hasbeen identified with Mohammed references Jttre implt"d;;;;;. ;;,16 and16:7 l5: see Sura 6l:61. TheOld Testament fr""G"ii" for_prophecies. "ii*i"f Several Moslemapologist"s have :,^Tl:_t-]""*,,9",'gns conrusedprophecies traditionallyassociated with the comiie of the Mohammed. Jomier,p. f S:; S"fr"", "ff," nl;;;;t";;", Y,:."i*3r rsra[ucrJoctnnes a ResDons€ Byzantine as polemics:The Miracles to of Muhammad, 313 and322.n.19. pp.

m"."lhergroup mainrains rheifindpJi"ii"r" i, ir," that l?T11.^ Drore uospelthat anc

group trr"t craims tr,is "nnounc"nJ"ll:J"#Hil:1TfrJr.#;rT Bible or the Gospel as aheynow exist, concrudingthat the
texts havs been

," :1"1^,Pl and miracles.Christians rerms srgns Y"h:rTd ot thenmovedto attackagainsi the andmoralityof Mohammed.S"h"s,,fhe formaii.i Srsonality r$arrucuoctnnqsasa Response Byzantine polemics:The Miracles "iL,", of to Muhammad,'pp. 3O't -320. - This point was one of the first to be touchedupon in polemrc _ betwe€nMoslems and Christians. The eur,an i, f*i'".*.t" ifr"i tr," Torah, the Gospel, and Jesusannouncedthe .praised O"";-<in^A, Mohammed.Moslems dividec are

t ,

cgmpared ,"tirr"ctorly l""ir_",r,iljr, ro

sun and, as thou knowest,victorious,he has arrived in the saying, "Our Book has west." Saint Gregory responded, neverdeletedanything. To do so is to contendwith grave and fearful curses[Rev. 22:18, l9]. Whoever dares to the removeanythingor reconstruct wordsof Christ, it is he who is removed. So now, how can any Christiando sucha thing? How is sucha one evena Christianwhen he eradiwordsof Christ? Nevertheless catesthe divinely inscribed are the witnesses manyand in differenttongues,since,imfrom mediately, uponreceivingthe Gospel,it wastranslated concordin matters theoriginal. Now how couldwe maintain of faith among the nations, which exist to this day, if wasperpetrated upon the books?ss tampedng who agreewith you on "Now thereare someheretics certain subjects, never have they brought forward this but in deletionof the nameof Mohammed the Gospelof Christ. Now if the prophetshad somethinggood to Say about to Mohammed, they certainlywould not haveneglected do so. We do read, however,that manyfalsechristsand false 'prophets cometo deceive many[Mt. 24:24;Mk. 13:22]. wilf Wherefore, He said to take heed and not be deceived[Lk. 2l:81.

are In the Qur'8n severalaccusations leveledagainstthe People of the Book, first theJewsbut alsothe Christians [Qur'an3: 78]. They are accused of having manipulated and comrpted the Scriptures. Christians thoughtto have'forgotten' a part of th€ir revelation. 'O are (Mohamrned) cometo you, peopleof the Book! Now hasOur messenger and expounding you muchof what you usedto hide in the Scripture, to forgiving much' [Qur'an, Sura 5, The Table Spreat 13-19]. The problemis that the teaching theQur'an,in respect their view of the of of and religioushistoryof theworld, the historyof salvation, so on, cannot be reconciled with Christian texts. Now as theybelievethat th€ Qur'an is thevery criterionof truth, theothertooks musthavebeenfalsifiedand distorted. Jomier,p. 155; Sloyan,pp. 192, 193.




"Mosesand all the prophets,beforeand after him, were committedto the earth upon death and await final judgment from heaven. Now, if it were the same with Christ, thenit mustbe thatsomeone shallcometo make else an endof things. However,asyou sayalongwith us, Christ ascended heaven; into then,as right-minded, areto await we for noneother. You alsoaccept that Christnot only ascended, but thatHe will comeagain. Now if He is the bne Who cameand is to come again, then we do well not to accept anothersaveHim. WhenHe comes,He shalljudge. Why so? As He said, 'I am the light of the world. [n. g:12]. Christ and His teachingare light. Men, however, loved otherteachings, sensual pleasures darkness, and instead the of light. So that we mightnot be condemned with them,the chief of the disciplesof Christ says: ,But there were false prophets alsoamongthe people,evenas thereshall be false teachers amongyou, who secretlyshall bring in destructive heresies....Bycovetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words....And many will follow their destructive ways' [2 Pet.2:1, 3, 2]. Another disciple writes: ....even if.an angelfrom heaven preach any othergospelto you than what we havepreached you, let him be accursed' to [Cal. l:81. The Evangelist says,.Everyspirit thatdo€snot confess that Jesus Christ hascomein the fleshis not of God' [1 Jn. 4:31- How shall we accepta book (Koran) that saysthere slall comeone (Mohammed) from God, who is not actually the Lord, whenthe Evangelist declares, one is not from that God, if he doesnot confess Jesus, that Who hascomein the flesh, is the lord? This is not possibleto do-no it is -

provevictoriousfrom the westto the east? Therehavealso been many others, in many other times, who set out on military campaigns dominated world. Yet noneof and the the peoplesbelievedin their leadersas you revere Mohammed. ThoughMohammed may employviolenceand offer pleasures, cannot securethe approval of the world. he Albeit, the teachingof Christ, though it turns away from (worldly) pleasures, has taken hold to the ends of the it world, without violence, since it is opposedto it. This phenomenon the victory that overcomes world" [1 Jn. is the 5:41.5rr

"It is true that Mohammed started from the eastand came to the west, as the sun travels from east to wesr. Nevertheless, came with war, knives, pillaging, forced he enslavement, murders,and acts that are not from the good God, but instigatedby the chief manslayer,the divil. Considernow, in timespast,did not Alexander(the Great)

An AgreeableEnding At this point, the saint noted that the Turks were gettingagitated with theChristians stoodby listening,so that the Christians noddedto the Archbishop stop. The saint to joyful, and said'with a turned his talk to something then smile, "If we agreeaccording teaching, shallcometo to we thesame dogma. Whosoever comprehends, him judgethe let powerof the wordsutteredhere."5l2 Thenoneofthem said,"Someday it will happen that we shallagree. The saintapproved andprayedthat the " this time mightcomequickly. ThentheArchbishop thoughtthat, sooner later, this will happen; as it is written: "At the or for nameof Jesus every kneeshouldbow, of thingsin heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth. And that every tongueshouldconfess Jesus that Christis lrrd, to the glory of God the Father"[Phil. 2:10, lU. This certainly will take place at the SecondComing of our Lord Jesus Christ. The saint's biographer,Philotheos,then says that thoughmanyother eventstook place,the Archbishop never hadany fear to speak aboutthe word of Christbefore"them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul" [Mt. 10:281. Desiringto write more, Philotheos complainsthat



his handis unableto recordit all, thoughthereremained a few other thingsto write.s13 During his captivity,the saintshowed keeninterest a for his flock in Thessalonica.In his letter to his diocese, written in 1354, he gives valuableinformation about the situation of the Christiansof Asia Minor under Islamic authority.sr4Togetherwith this letter, there was also one written to an anonymous person.sls Both theselettersare significantfor students history. of No later episodes the saint,scaptivity have been of recorded. Saint Gregorywas to remainin sucha predica_ mentuntilthespring 1355. of The Moslems,in the meantime, not sparetheir did kidnapped victim for any otherreason otherthanth; hoDe of receivinga good price or ransom.5t6 The Emir's oldest sontreated holy mancruelly. Shortlyafterward, the Gregory wasallowedto live quietlyin the Monastery St. Hyacinth of in Nicaa, until money could be raised for his ielease. However, eventsin the capitaldelayedthe sendingof the ransom demanded by the Turks.

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